When you hear the term “hair loss,” it is probably male hair loss that immediately comes to mind, but did you know that 40% of women over 40 experience visible hair loss? It is not something that gets much attention and if you are a woman experiencing hair loss, it may have come as a bit of a surprise. If you are a woman suffering from hair loss, here is a guide to help you understand what is going on.
What Causes Hair Loss?
There are a number of things that could be causing hair loss or hair thinning. Hormonal changes are a common cause for hair loss among women and many women experience noticeable changes to hair thickness a few months after giving birth. Autoimmune disorders such as thyroid problems can also cause hair loss as well as deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals – most notably an iron deficiency.
The most common cause of hair loss, though, is female pattern baldness. Female pattern baldness is hereditary. It is thought that up to two-thirds of women experience this as they get older and it can be exacerbated by age and hormonal changes like the menopause.
Treating Hair Loss in Women
If your hair loss is due to hormonal changes or vitamin deficiencies, these health problems can easily be addressed and the hair loss should cease over time. The same can be said of hair loss associated with thyroid disorders; successful treatment of the thyroid problem should solve the issue of hair loss.
It can be more difficult to treat hereditary hair loss or thinning associated with aging. The hair loss medication finasteride (often known by the brand name Propecia) has not been approved by the FDA for use in women, so women have fewer options than men.
Women are able to use minoxidil (commonly known as Rogaine). This is a foam or solution that can be applied directly to the scalp to stimulate hair growth. Results can be seen from the 12-week mark, but hair regrowth will cease once you stop using the solution, and there is no guarantee that it will work at all.
For a more permanent solution, you could consider a hair transplant. The most effective type of hair transplant is a follicular unit extraction (FUE). This involves removing individual hair follicles from a donor part of the body (normally, this would be another area of the head) and implanting them to the area of the head with thinning hair. Find out more at hshairclinic.co.uk.
Coping with Hair Loss
Unfortunately, hair transplant procedures are less likely to be viable among women, as hair thinning tends to take place across a larger area of the scalp. Therefore, many women have to learn to accept hair loss and thinning.
Consider joining a support or social group if you need the support of people in a similar situation. Talking to friends and family about your situation can help you deal with the situation and reduce any feelings of embarrassment or shame.
If you prefer, you could always cover up with a wig or a head wrap, but that should be your own choice. There should be no stigma attached to hair loss in women, and learning to accept yourself as you are should be a priority.